This show manages to combine a "monster of the week" kind of story while advancing the overall plot all at the same time. It reminds me of shows like Fringe, which did it well (though Daredevil may do it better) and Burn Notice, which did not do a good job of mixing it.
(Tune in to the TV Soup Podcast - Daredevil, "Rabbit in a Snowstorm" & "In the Blood" Review)
Episode 3 - "Rabbit in a Snowstorm"
In the opening scene we see a bloody execution of someone who is clearly a boss of some type, bringing a couple of bodyguards with him to an empty bowling alley. While watching this, the gruesomeness of this show becomes apparent. Marvel movies don't usually feature too much blood, but our new friend (Healy) is splattered with it. He hides his gun, and in a move that does not seem very typical, he waits to be arrested by the police.
Matthew, imbued with some proper Catholic guilt, finds himself sitting in front of the church. Father Lantom really tries to get him to come in and talk, as clearly Matthew has been roughed up and has a lot on his mind, but he's not ready to talk, not yet.
We meet a couple of new characters against the backdrop of New York City. I'm not sure if there are a lot of buildings missing, but you can definitely see lots of buildings being constructed after "the event" or whatever they're calling it. It's an informant/gangster relationship, clearly, and later on you learn that Ben is a reporter and not a cop. In proper comic book fashion, Ben is warned off of the case that he's about to embark on (spoilers?).
Confederated global investments, represented by James Wesley (the errand boy with the employer-who-must-not-be-named), shows up at their law office with an offer to put them on retainer. Matthew is clearly (and rightfully) suspicious of their intentions, and Foggy is the opposite, fawning all over the money they've just been offered. Matt has a good line about how Foggy might care the other way around if he couldn't see the check.
Matt's senses are really finely tuned; he can tell Wesley by the specific tick of his watch, he can hear one conversation a ways off and I'm sure there are more surprises still to come. We've been wondering thus far if this is some sort of extra ability, or just his senses making up for his lack of sight.
Foggy is interviewing Healy, who finally tips off Foggy's BS detector with his amazingly fluent legalese. Clearly, as Foggy says, "this wasn't his first rodeo". Matt shows up and, without consultation, tells Healy they are taking the case. Matt's being a little bit unilateral in the early days of this law firm.
Matt is really just interviewing Healy for info on Wesley (whose name he doesn't know yet). Healy is eerily nonchalant about the whole thing (a "shark in a skin suit"), but Matt says they need to take clients just for the money, though clearly he wants to dig into their mutual "employer" more.
We see Ben at his office, and it's all very standard "we're old news guys, we can't do the news like we used to before". I've seen this now for the last 10 years on almost every newspaper storyline in anything I've seen on TV. It was done best on The Wire, season 5. Unless you're going to beat that, take a different angle.
Karen is offered a contract and buy-off to keep her mouth shut forever about Union Allied Construction (another good generic name) in exchange for the company not going after her for legal ramifications for breaking the NDA and stealing a file which got leaked to the papers. She leaves and it's uncertain which way she went. She later encounters Daniel's (the guy who they tried to frame her for killing) wife, asking her if she can help track down what really happened. The wife had already signed an agreement and is getting the hell out of dodge so Karen is on her own, but looking for someone else. Since she lied to Matt & Foggy about taking the file (by not telling them about it), she doesn't want to go to them about the situation.
Healy's case is sped to trial, and during the opening Matt quickly sniffs out a juror who has been compromised and deals with it that night nearly as quickly. This actually works, and Matt makes his closing argument to a jury of the untampered (he certainly listens for long enough to be sure). His speech is a warning to Healy as much as it's meant for the jury to take only the facts of the case into consideration. It's a good speech, but no McConaughey from A Time to Kill.
The verdict comes back, and there is no verdict! It's a hung jury, and the state will not be retrying the case as it's "too expensive". It doesn't seem like a hung jury should come back so quickly, clearly something else is happening behind the scenes. I like how every time Matt asks Healy a question he doesn't want to answer, he not only changes the subject but seems to compliment him too.
Finally we get a hell of a fight, as both Matt and Healy are friggin' bad-asses, so in proper Daredevil form, it goes on for quite some time with both sides gaining some advantage over the other. Matt is able to squeeze the name of Healy's employer out of him, which prompts Healy to impale himself on a spike rather than continue on after having given up his name.
Wilson Fisk is our man, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, and he's just hanging out in an art gallery. He looks like Gomer Pyle from Full Metal Jacket, all grown up (and not dead) but possibly just as crazy. He buys a painting called "Rabbit in a Snowstorm" which is kind of a joke, making up something that isn't there.
Episode 4 - "In the Blood"
We find out quickly what "In the Blood" refers to (as opposed to the last episode, in which we found out at the end). The Russian brothers have a very tight bond, strengthened in a Russian prison years ago where they presumably broke out with the use of sharpened bones taken from their deceased cell mate. That's sure to forge a tight bond between anyone.
Matt is getting patched up, again, by Claire, who is running her own ER out of a friend's apartment and hiding out from the Russians on advice from Matt. Matt & Claire certainly have an interesting relationship developing, and it looks like one of those that could go romantic, but won't (yet?) because Matt doesn't want her to be a target.
The Russians are in their "hideout", basically a taxi garage. Wesley comes by and tries to motivate the Russians to take down their "problem", as it's affecting business. They're also given an "offer" for Fisk (he who must not be named) to help out, but of course they resist at first. I like Vladimir's point about how the only reason they aren't supposed to say "Fisk" is because it makes him seem like he's not a man, not because of some eavesdropping suspicions or something else.
Karen and Ben are going over the facts of their case and Ben is trying to get Karen to move on from looking further into this. He smartly points out that most people who have gotten in the way have wound up dead. Unswayed, Karen is determined to find the paper trail.
Vladimir and Anatoly go looking for answers about the masked man and they seem to know a lot about how to get a guy out of a coma. I suppose they are some hardcore gangsters, but still, this is a pretty crazy thing to do to a guy on your side. Anyways, Semyon (the guy in the coma) leads them to Claire's apartment where they are able to connect the dots and eventually find Claire at the place she's hiding.
Wesley and Fisk are in the car, talking. Even when talking amongst themselves, they use really vague terms. Maybe it's just a habit for these guys at this point. Fisk mentions that he wants to handle it all quietly... but of course it ends up being the total opposite of that. He goes into the art gallery and tries to get a date with the lady from the last episode. You almost start to feel bad for this guy, as he's trying to relate to normal people (especially at first at dinner), but it's still awkward. It almost makes you forget that he's most likely a psychopath.
Matt finds out where Claire has been taken from Santino (after Matt was just barely too late). It's interesting that most of the time, he goes around with a walking stick, but when trouble is about, he's able to run full speed and navigate perfectly. The stick is just a prop to help him stay under the radar as Matt Murdock.
Matt always fights at night, but he finally uses a tactic that I've been wanting him to use for a while now. When he arrives at the taxi depot, he kills the lights, putting him at an instant advantage. This fight isn't even close to being even, as the Russians take a really dumb approach to this situation but this is a comic book series, so I guess I need to take that into consideration. Claire takes a huge swing at one of the guys - in the face, with a baseball bat - in one of the most satisfying moments of the episode, though it does leave her very, very shaken up.
Karen buys furniture at the auction and we find out that Ben is still interested in the story. I'm hoping that Ben becomes a better character, he seems far too cookie-cutter, and I usually like the good guy journalist character.
Anatoly heads to see Fisk, who was spotted at the restaurant. Anatoly seems like the level-headed brother, but he charges into the restaurant like a fool and we find out that Fisk has been surrounded by guards the entire time. Definitely ups the creep factor right after he was starting to seem normal.
The shoe is on the other foot for once; Matt is patching up Claire, just like when he used to fix up his dad after matches. Claire urges Matt to continue what he's doing, and that it's worth the risk. Matt then reveals his real name.
Fisk is finishing his date with Vanessa, trying to act all nonchalant about the bizarre scene at the restaurant. He then takes his frustrations out on Anatoly, in a very sloppy ending to an episode where all the characters were a bit sloppy with their actions. All the fights in this episode were very one-sided as well. Also, wtf, is Fisk wearing chain mail? I suppose so, he's going to war...